Chicory, also known as Italian Dandelion, is a tricky green to cook – there are many ways to do it wrong and serve-up a dish of in-edible bitter and twiggy greens.
My first couple of batches of this green in the pressure cooker were a total disaster. When I next brought home a big bouquet of chicory I declared defeat and called my mother-in-law (aka the leafy green magician).
“You steamed them right?” Right – for almost 45 minutes.
Margherita had never pressure cooked chicory but she had a kooky method that I thought just might be made faster in the pressure cooker.
She covers her chicory with water and boils it “until tender” (famous Italian recipe timing). Then, she just lets it sit in the cooking liquid for up to an hour. Finally, she strains and rinses it. She serves cicoria with a drizzle of sautéed garlic, olive oil and salt as a side dish, or swirls the greens into fava bean puree.
Adapting my mother-in-law’s advice, I was able to tame several batches of this uncharted green into submission and get even more tender results with ZERO bitterness in just minutes.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|6 L or larger||none||5-7 min.||High(2)||Natural|
- 1-2 bunches chicory
- water to cover
- Remove the toughest part of the stems and discard - this part will never get tender no matter how long it's pressure cooked.
- Clean well by dunking the greens into a large container filled with water (or an empty sink). Swish the greens around, lift out into a strainer and change the water. Do this at least twice, or until there is no more grit at the bottom of the container when the greens are swished and then lifted out.
- Place washed chicory into the pressure cooker and add just enough water to cover.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker reaches pressure, lower to the heat to the minimum required by the cooker to maintain pressure. Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
- When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes). For electric pressure cookers, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and begin counting 10 minutes of natural open time. Then, release the rest of the pressure using the valve.
- Pour the greens out into a strainer and run cold water over them to cool and rinse them. Once cooled, grab fistfuls of cooked chicory and squeeze.